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MoU Signing Marks Milestone for Cardiothoracic Surgery Training in Malaysia

Universiti Malaya (UM) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCS Ed), United Kingdom; Malaysian Association of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery (MATCVS); and Academy of Medicine Malaysia (AMM) to provide a six-year training program for Cardiothoracic Surgery in Malaysia, in which 28 candidates will be awarded Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in the Specialty of Cardiothoracic Surgery.

There has been a huge national deficiency in the number of cardiothoracic surgeons, largely due to the traditional apprenticeship-based training module, which takes a very long time to produce licensed surgeons.

In her welcoming speech, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and International), Professor Dr. Yatimah Alias said that realizing this problem, UM worked together with MATCVS, RCS Ed, and AMM to create a structured training program for cardiothoracic surgery. The parallel pathway program began in 2016 and had 28 trainees.

“We are proud to know that the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery Universiti Malaya is one of the best training centres for this program,” says Prof. Dr. Yatimah; “Equipped with 3 consultant cardiothoracic surgeons, they have been able to deliver high-quality training for the trainees and give them a variety of exposure in all aspects of Adult Cardiac Surgery, Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery, Minimally Invasive and Complex Thoracic Surgery, and Complex Aortic and Endovascular Surgery.”

“With our huge commitment for academic and training we feel privileged to be part of this historic MoU,” she continues; “Universiti Malaya will be the educational providing body for the parallel pathway training program in this MoU and will work closely with all stakeholders of this program to ensure that we produce a safe cardiothoracic surgeon for the nation.”

The Director-General of Health and President of the Malaysian Medical Council, Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah, had also launched the National Curriculum in Cardiothoracic Surgery. He explains that the curriculum will serve as an important resource in cardiothoracic surgery for this nation's trainers and trainees.

“The curriculum adheres to the standards set by the Malaysian Medical Council,” Dr. Noor says; “All cardiothoracic training programs in the country will need to meet the requirements in the national curriculum to ensure that safe and competent cardiothoracic surgeons are produced.”

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